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Rewind To 1980

Read this year's headlines in our monthly calendar of events and discover snippets about everyday life with our FLASHBACK facts. It's time to go back to the SAS storming of the Iranian Embassy in London, the murder of John Lennon, the release of the ZX80 home computer and that Borg-McEnroe Wimbledon final. It's time to go back to... 1980.

Timeline '80 Close All

January
Naturalist Joy Adamson – author of Born Free – is murdered in Kenya
The price of gold surges to £281 an ounce on fears about the weakening American dollar
BBC's flagship news and current affairs programme Newsnight first airs and is presented by Peter Snow
Over 23M viewers watch the premiere of Live And Let Die on ITV – a record British TV audience for a movie
The Magic Cube is rebranded and unveiled at the London Toy Fair as Rubik's Cube
Britain's 14-year-old Nigel Short becomes the youngest International Master at chess
Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders is the first new No. 1 of the 1980s

A 500g box of Kellogg's Cornflakes costs 43p at Fine Fare

February
British Steel announces 11,000 jobs will be lost at its production plants in Wales
Britain's Robin Cousins wins gold in the men's figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid
BBC2 broadcasts the first episode of political sitcom Yes Minister
The Sinclair ZX80 is released – costing less than £100 it shifts 100,000 units igniting a personal computer boom
At the Winter Olympics the USA sensationally defeats the Soviet Union in the ice hockey
AC/DC frontman Bon Scott dies of acute alcoholic poisoning in London
Someone's Looking At You returns The Boomtown Rats to the Top 10

A colour TV licences costs £34 a year

March
The Alexander Kielland drilling rig capsizes during a force nine gale in the North Sea killing 123 workers including 20 Britonsy
Armed bandits hijack a truck carrying £4M worth of silver ingots in the biggest heist since the Great Train Robbery of 1963
Pirate radio station Radio Caroline is off-air for three years after its ship sinks off the English coast during a storm
The British Olympic Association vote to attend the Moscow Olympics ignoring the government's plea for a boycott due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
"Who Shot JR?" becomes a worldwide craze after JR Ewing is gunned down in the season finale of Dallas
England defeat Scotland at Murrayfield and win rugby's Five Nations for the first time in eight years
Atomic is the first of Blondie's three No. 1s this year

From the ad pages: "Duckhams Motor Oil – Pure Green Protection"

April
Nineteen policemen are injured when riots flare in St Pauls Bristol
Operation Eagle Claw to release the American hostages in Iran ends in failure
The Treasury Select Committee forecasts unemployment will be 2.5M by 1983 – it will reach that figure in April 1981
British Leyland agrees a deal with unions to end a strike that has closed nine factories and brought the car maker to the brink of collapse
Britain's first public naturist beach opens at Brighton
Johnny Logan wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with What's Another Year – the UK finish 3rd with Love Enough For Two by Prima Donna
The Intelligent Food For Thought is UB40's first hit

A headmaster earns £12K a year – about twice the average salary for a teacher

May
"The Siege Busters" (Daily Mirror) – on live TV the SAS storm the Iranian Embassy in London killing five terrorists who had seized 26 hostages
In the US Mount St Helens erupts releasing energy equivalent to 1,600 Hiroshima atomic bombs and sending 540 million tons of ash 12 miles into the sky
The Alton Towers theme park opens in Staffordshire – its most popular attraction is the corkscrew rollercoaster which has waiting times of up to nine hours
The eagerly awaited Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back opens in UK cinemas
American tycoon Ian MacGregor is the new boss of British Steel after the government pay a £2M "transfer fee" to secure his services
Nottingham Forest beat Hamburg 1-0 to win the European Cup for the second successive year
The Cure breach the Top 40 with A Forest

A 1.6L GT4 Ford Capri will set you back £4,328

June
The first 24-hour news channel Cable News Network (CNN) is launched in the US
The musician strike over plans to axe five BBC orchestras takes Top of the Pops and The Old Grey Whistle Test off air until August
Fiery Labour MP Dennis Skinner is ordered from the House of Commons during a heated debate with Employment Secretary Jim Prior
In a major blow to the British film industry Rank pulls out of film production scuppering eight projects including a planned movie of To The Manor Born
Veteran dancer and racehorse owner Fred Astaire (81) marries US champion jockey Robyn Smith (34)
England fans riot at the 1980 European Championship in Italy – the tournament is won by West Germany
News At Ten by The Vapors stalls at No. 44

From the ad pages: "Gillette Contour – the closer you get the better it feels"

July
Britain wins 5 gold medals at the Moscow Olympics including Sebastian Coe (1500m), Daley Thompson (Decathlon) and Duncan Goodhew (100m breaststroke)
Ice cream sales are down a third as Britain experiences its coldest and wettest July for 300 years
Film star Peter Sellers dies after suffering a second heart attack in three years
In one of the greatest-ever sporting finals Bjorn Borg defeats John McEnroe to win his fifth successive Wimbledon title
Bow Wow Wow (featuring the future Boy George) release the first cassette-only single C30 C60 C90 Go – it reaches No. 34
The police receive a 21% pay increase – the lowest-paid bobby will earn £100 per week
Joy Division's tragic Love Will Tear Us Apart is No. 13

Unemployment jumps to 1.83M

August
Lech Walesa leads strikes at the Gdansk Shipyard in Poland demanding the legalisation of independent trade unions
Record label K-Tel takes legal action against "pop pirates" who fake cassette tapes of popular albums and sell them at half price
Textile giant Courtaulds is closing seven of its factories costing 1,200 jobs
Hit comedy Airplane! starring Leslie Nielsen opens in the UK
In Australia a two-month-old baby girl goes missing on a camping trip – her parents insist she was taken by a dingo
A keeper at Howlett's Zoo is mauled to death by a Siberian tiger called Zeya but owner John Aspinall allows the animal to live (see September)
David Bowie has his second No. 1 with Ashes To Ashes

Children's TV show Blue Peter is presented by Simon Groom, Sarah Greene and Peter Duncan

September
Consett Steelworks closes with the loss of 4500 jobs – overnight the town has the highest unemployment rate in the UK
"Britons Hit By Killer Virus" (Daily Mirror) – at least one Briton has died from Legionnaires Disease after returning from Benidorm in Spain
A WWII Douglas Invader bomber crashes at Biggin Hill Air Show killing all seven people on board
Prince Charles' rumoured girlfriend Lady Diana Spencer is splashed over tabloid front pages in an revealing backlit pose
Grizzly bear Hercules is finally caught in the Hebrides Islands – he escaped while filming a TV advert three weeks ago
A second keeper at Howlett's Zoo is mauled to death by Zeya (see August) – the tiger is shot dead
The Jam's Start is No. 1 for one week

A Ferguson Videostar VCR costs £549.95 at Currys

October
Margaret Thatcher makes her "The lady's not for turning" speech to the Conservative Party conference in Brighton
British Leyland launches the Metro a three-door entry-level hatchback to compete with the Ford Fiesta
James Callaghan announces his resignation as leader of the British Labour Party
Classic horror film The Shinning – based on Steven King's novel – is released in the UK
Weakened by medication Muhammad Ali's fight against Larry Holmes in Las Vegas ends in a humiliating defeat
"Post Cost Shocker" (Daily Mail) – the price of a first-class stamp will rise by 2p to 14p next January
The Damned release The History Of The World (Part One)

A new mortgage comes with an interest rate of 15%

November
Republican Ronald Regan defeats incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter in the US presidential election
On November 21 a global audience of 350 million watch Dallas to find out that Kristin Shepard shot JR Ewing
"Foot First!" (Daily Mirror) – left winger Michael Foot is elected Leader of the Labour Party which has a 24-point poll lead over the Tories
Actor Steve McQueen dies of heart failure during an operation to remove tumours caused by asbestos exposure
The Yorkshire Ripper kills his final victim 20-year-old English undergraduate Jacqueline Hill
"Goodbye London" – after nearly a century the The London Evening News publishes its last edition
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark have their first Top 10 hit with Enola Gay

The average house price in the UK is £23,497

December
"Death Of A Hero" (Daily Mirror) – former Beatle John Lennon is shot dead in New York
Pac-Man is released in America and becomes the most successful video game in history
The police fear a new IRA offensive has begun after two fire bombs explode in London
A gallon of four star will rise by 5p to £1.30 after major fuel companies remove price subsidies
A 53-day hunger strike by IRA prisoners in Northern Ireland ends after the government appears to make concessions regarding conditions
The BBC sports personality of the year is Olympian Robin Cousins
John Lennon's Imagine is re-released and will top the chart early next year

The average wage is £122 per week